Authors: Widisinghe, SD; Sivakugan, N; Wang, VZ


Cite As:
Widisinghe, SD, Sivakugan, N & Wang, VZ 2014, 'Loads on barricades in hydraulically backfilled underground mine stopes', in Y Potvin & T Grice (eds), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 123-133,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

In the recent past, there has been significant growth in underground mining due to the ever increasing demand for resources and the advancement in technologies. The post-processed tailings are directed back into the mine stopes as backfill, with barricades in place to retain the backfills. Failure of the barricades can be catastrophic and several accidents have been reported in Australia and worldwide that have resulted in fatalities. Proper understanding of the loading on the barricades is necessary to design them with confidence, thus ensuring safe mining practices. The object of this paper is to discuss some laboratory model tests carried out at James Cook University laboratory to investigate the stresses within drives. A novel laboratory apparatus was developed where a cylindrical container with a horizontal drive, filled with dry hydraulic fill, was loaded by the MTS machine. The vertical stresses at the bottom of the stope, near the wall, and the horizontal stresses on the drive were measured using earth pressure cells. This was also simulated numerically using a finite difference code Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua for three dimensions (FLAC3D). Results are compared from three approaches and implications are discussed.

Aubertin, M, Li, L, Arnoldi, S, Belem, T, Bussière, B, Benzaazoua, M & Simon, R 2003, ‘Interaction between backfill and rock mass in narrow stopes’, in PJ Culligan & AJ Whittle (eds), Proceedings of the 12th Pan American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen, pp. 1157-64.
Barrett, JR, Coulthard, MA & Dight, PM 1978, ‘Determination of fill stability’, Proceedings of the 12th Canadian Rock Mechanics Symposium, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Westmount, pp. 85-91.
Belem, T, Harvey, A, Simon, R & Aubertin, M 2004, ‘Measurement and prediction of internal stresses in an underground opening during its filling with cemented fill’, in E Villaescusa & Y Potvin (eds), Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Ground Support in Mining and Underground Construction, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 28-30.
Bloss, M 1992, ‘Prediction of cemented rock fill stability-design procedures and modelling techniques’, PhD thesis, University of Queensland.
Duffield, C, Gad, E & Bamford, W 2003, ‘Investigation into the Structural Behaviour of Mine Brick Barricades’, AusIMM Bulletin, vol. 2, pp. 44-50.
Fahey, M, Helinski, M & Fourie, AB 2009, ‘Some aspects of the mechanics of arching in backfilled stopes’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 46, pp. 1322-36.
Grice, AG 1989, ‘Fill research at Mount Isa mines limited’, in FP, Hassani, MJ, Scoble & TR Yu (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 15-22.
Grice, AG 2003, Mining with Backfill, viewed 4 Sep 2011, AMC's newsletter “Digging Deeper” on current events and modern mining methodology.
Helinski, M 2007, ‘Mechanics of mine backfill’, PhD thesis, The University of Western Australia.
Helinski, M, Fahey, M & Fourie, AB 2010, ‘Coupled two-dimensional finite element modelling of mine backfilling with cemented tailings’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 47, pp. 1187-200.
Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. 2012, FLAC3D 5.0 – Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua, Version 5.0 User’s Guide, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. 2013, FLAC3D 5.0 – Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua, Version 5.0, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, .
Knutsson, S 1981, ‘Stresses in the hydraulic backfill from analytical calculations and in-situ measurements’, in O Stephansson & MJ Jones (eds), Proceedings of the Conference on the Application of Rock Mechanics to Cut and Fill Mining, The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London, pp. 261-8.
Kuganathan, K 2002, ‘A method to design efficient mine backfill drainage systems to improve safety and stability of backfill bulkheads and fills’, Proceedings of the 8th AusIMM Underground Operators' Conference ”growing our underground operations”, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Carlton, pp. 181-8.
Li, L & Aubertin, M 2009a, ‘Horizontal pressure on barricades for backfilled stopes. Part I: Fully drained conditions’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 37-46.
Li, L & Aubertin, M 2009b, ‘Numerical investigation of the stress state in Inclined backfilled stopes’, International Journal of Geomechanics, vol. 9, pp. 52-62.
Marston, A & Anderson, AO 1913, ‘The theory of loads on pipes in ditches, and tests of cement and clay drain tile and sewer pipe’, Iowa State University Engineering Experiment Station, Bulletin number 31.
Meek, JL & Kirkby, RW 1976, ‘Finite element analysis of cemented fill exposures’, in CS Desai (ed.), Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Numerical Methods in Geomechanics, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston.
Mitchell, R 1992, Centrifuge model studies of fill pressures on temporary bulkheads, CIM Bulletin, vol. 85, no. 960, pp. 48-54.
Nantel, J 1998, ‘Recent developments and trends in backfill practices in Canada’, in M Bloss (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Carlton, pp. 11-14.
Pirapakaran, K 2008, ‘Load-deformation characteristics of minefills with particular reference to arching and stress developments’, PhD thesis, James Cook University.
Pirapakaran, K & Sivakugan, N 2007, ‘Arching within hydraulic fill stopes’, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 25-35.
Rankine, KJ 2005, ‘An investigation into the drainage characteristics and behaviour of hydraulically placed mine backfill and permeable minefill barricades’, PhD thesis, James Cook University.
Sivakugan, N, Rankine, KJ & Rankine, RM 2005, ‘Geotechnical aspects of hydraulic filling of underground mine stopes in Australia’, in B Indraratna & J Chu (eds), Elsevier Geo-Engineering Book Series Volume 3, Ground Improvement: Case Histories ElsevierLtd., Kidlington, Oxford.
Sivakugan, N, Rankine, KJ & Rankine, RM 2006a, ‘Permeability of Hydraulic Fills and Barricade Bricks’, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 661-73.
Sivakugan, N, Rankine, RM, Rankine, KJ & Rankine, KS 2006b, ‘Geotechnical considerations in mine backfilling in Australia’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 14, pp. 1168-75.
Sivakugan, N & Widisinghe, S 2013, ‘Stresses Within Granular Materials Contained Between Vertical Walls’, Indian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 30-8.
Thomas, EG 1969, ‘Characteristics and behaviour of hydraulic fill material’, PhD thesis, University of Queensland.
Thompson, BD, Grabinsky, MW, Bawden, WF & Counter, DB 2009, ‘In-situ measurements of cemented paste backfill in long-hole stopes’, in M Diederichs & Grasselli G (eds), Proceedings of the 3rd CANUS Rock Mechanics Symposium, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, paper no. 4061.
Thompson, BD, Bawden, WF & Grabinsky, MW 2012, ‘In-situ measurements of cemented paste backfill at the Cayeli Mine’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 755-72.
Ting, CH 2011, ‘Arching in granular materials with particular reference to inclined mine stopes’, PhD thesis, James Cook University.
Torlach, J 2000, ‘Potential hazards associated with mine fill’, Safety Bulletin No: 55, 29 June 2000.
Yumlu, M & Guresci, M 2007, ‘Paste backfill bulkhead failures and pressure monitoring at Cayeli mine’, CIM Bulletin Technical Papers.

© Copyright 2021, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to